Studdard, Aiken to perform at Honeywell

By Amanda Redman

Rubin Studdard and Clay Aiken are celebrating 20 years of friendship that began during the second season of American Idol in 2003.
Studdard ultimately won the competition with Aiken runner-up but the two have both enjoyed successful careers they will showcase during Twenty, the Tour, coming to the Honeywell Center Ford Theater at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 13.
Studdard and Aiken have worked together on numerous solo and joint projects, most recently a Broadway production in 2018. Combined, they have recorded 12 albums, sold more than eight million albums worldwide, toured the country 14 times, won four Billboard Music Awards, an American Music Award and have been nominated for two Grammys. They last toured together in 2010.
“It does sound like a lot to do when you say it like that,” Studdard said laughing during a phone interview Saturday. “It’s really a celebration of our time on ‘American Idol.’ We want to take people on that journey with us.”
The pair are planning to record a duet together this year, although they haven’t decided which song, Studdard said.
“I love being on stage with my brother, my friend,” Studdard said. “Being on the road is a thing that I love to do. Clay is a production guy. It really works well for the both of us,”
This will be their first time performing in Wabash, just as one of Wabash’s own, Zachariah Smith, competes in the Top 5 of this season’s American Idol.
“We will both be there for the finale,” Studdard said.
Aiken worked with Smith earlier in the season.
“He’s got a voice that is probably older than he is,” Aiken said during the interview. “He reminds me of myself quite a bit in some ways.”
When asked if other American Idol contestants have maintained friendships after the show, Aiken said he wasn’t aware of any but pointed out that show was still in its infancy but really grew in that second season.
“We all cheered for each other,” Aiken said. “We were never competitive against each other. I wanted him to win as much as I wanted me to.”
We had each other’s phone numbers before we left the auditions, Studdard said.
“It was just like going to college,” Studdard said.
The pair are excited to interact with local audiences during a VIP Sound Check Party in which they will play a song not included in the setlist and sit down with fans to talk.
“It’s an opportunity for people to ask us questions,” Studdard said.
A merchandise bundle including a VIP hoodie, tote bag and digital photo is included for the price of $300.
“It’s a very intimate meet and greet,” Aiken said.
Childcare is available during the show through YMCA Parent’s Night Out partnership. More information as well as tickets can be found at or by calling 260-563-1102

Posted on 2023 May 10